There’s so much more to a brand than name, logo & packaging.
We all have a personal brand which we demonstrate through how we present ourselves, what we choose to do with our life, what we stand for & how we want to be perceived.
Our business brand is no different, as makers & designers having our business brand align with our personal, strengthens our presence in the market place.
Our brand tells customers what they can expect from us.
As professional creatives we’re not focused on giving them a bargain. But rather, a well crafted piece, created using honed skills & passion.
We’re promising to give them a piece of ourselves in everything they buy from us, it’s not mass produced, it’s uniquely crafted.
“Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make but about the stories you tell.”
~ Seth Godin
When people buy from small scale producers they’re buying a piece of their story.
It’s important to think about this now before, even going out to sell your product, delivering the story behind your product will help potential buyers connect with you & your product.
Everyone loves a good story, your customers will tell their friends how they discovered you & your beautiful creations.
Giving them an experience that creates great memories of being introduced to you & your product helps spread your story.
My artisanal brand by marie-nicole was initially about working within the constraints of my families needs. It was important to me create without spending long hours away from home, which is what my career was like as a professional photographer.
Being available for my family while maintaining a career was a part of my story.
Another aspect was (& still is) minimising waste, both my husband & I are passionate about treading lightly on the earth, leaving this world in a better state than when we entered it.
“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.”
~Native American Proverb
The tagline for my artisanal range is; “Taking the old & discarded transforming them into statement pieces.”
Followed by; “Inspired to create beautiful handcrafted products for everyday adventures… created with respect for our earth & global community.”
These two lines sum up a lot of what my brand is about, rescuing & repurposing old woollen blankets, offcuts of kangaroo leather… sourcing materials created with respect for the earth & minimising waste by creating products that use up as a much of the resource as possible.
When your brand aligns with your values it’s not hard to sell the why behind the what, being certain to know your why, your story & ensuring that comes across in your brand is key.
How do you work out what your brand is about? Start with what your core values are, your core values speak of your unique essence.
1. Quality of life? Health? Wealth?
2. Family focus? Freedom to explore?
3. Earning an income working within their needs… and yours? Working to serve others?
4. Respect for the environment, leaving it better than you found it?
List as many as you can that come to mind and then circle at least 5 that are the most important to you.
A good indication of what your most important core values are is to think about how you wish to spend your days? What you wish to do with your time? What does a good day look like to you? How you wish to be remembered? What impact do you with to make, big or small?
Think about times you’ve felt completely alive after doing something that ignites a flame inside you and made you feel like you’re truly living your purpose.
I can think of an example from my own experience just recently; introducing the idea of a customer feature & testimonial to our promotions where I do a brief portrait session with returning customers who love what we offer and keep coming back.
After doing these shoots I feel like I’m floating on cloud nine.
During the shoots my focus is on making the customer look amazing in a photo, bringing out their individual beauty, while showcasing products purchased from Creators Nest.
Once I’ve reached a point where I think this is achieved I then ask them what keeps them coming back to Creators Nest?
Their responses are often similar; it’s the quality, uniqueness of the products, atmosphere and they way they’re made to feel while shopping here.
All of which are super important to me when it comes to the Creators Nest brand and the impact I wish to make, on behalf of both our customers & our makers.
Will and Bear, the hat brand we stock at Creators Nest is passionate about life on the road, as well as respecting & appreciating nature and our environment.
Which is why they’ve aligned with trees.org to plant ten trees for every hat sold.
Also why all their promotional imagery captures an adventurous life outdoors, amongst the wonders of nature.
Take out your journal, write down how your values align with your product or offering:
- What led you to start this journey of creating your product?
- What do you hope to achieve in doing this?
- How do you want people to interpret what you’re doing & why?
- How do you wish to be perceived?
- If you wish to be taken seriously as a professional creative then what do you need to do in order to have that happen?
When you talk to potential customers about what you’re doing & why, it needs to feel to them that you’re doing what you do because you absolutely 100% believe in it. Not that you just thought it was a good idea, at the time.
When you believe with all your heart that what you’re doing aligns with what you’re about personally you have a strong brand.
You won’t hesitate to share your beliefs & passion with others by sharing the story behind why you’re doing this!
Now you’ve got a product that aligns with your values that’s ready to take to market… but you’ve only got limited time between your current main paying job, family commitments & social engagements… so now you need to work out how to fit in the selling of your product. I’ll talk about that in my next post.
Looking forward to soaring alongside you…
Ps. Once you’ve aligned your values with your offering, ensuring the story you tell, with your words, images & packaging represents your brand is important. You’ll be selling, without selling.